The Netherlands launched a bid Friday to hold Syria responsible under international law for “gross human rights violations”, in a case that could end up in the U.N.’s top court.
The Dutch government said it was invoking the UN Convention against Torture and that Damascus was also guilty of murder and using poison gas on its own citizens.
“The Assad regime has committed horrific crimes time after time. The evidence is overwhelming. There must be consequences,” Foreign Minister Stef Blok said in a statement.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said it was an “important signal to the other dictators of this world.”
“We have indications that we might have the support of other countries” in pursuing the case, Rutte told a press conference.
The Dutch said they decided to take action after an attempt to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court — following years of impunity — was vetoed in the UN Security Council.
“The Assad regime has not hesitated to crack down hard..